‘We held flights back for you’ – Safarilink responds to Governor Nyongo’s air ticket rant
Just hours after Kisumu County Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o complained loudly about being ripped off by Safarilink Aviation Limited, the management of the airline given its side of the story.
Earlier in the day, Governor Nyong’o had protested for having been overcharged for one-way flight from Nairobi to Kisumu.
In a protest letter to Safarilink Aviation, the governor claimed he had been charged Sh 19,000 for the trip, which he said was exorbitant. Governor Nyong’o went as far as saying he had instructed Kisumu county staff to boycott the airline in the future.
But in their response, the airline said Governor Nyong’o had been charged that much for his air ticket because he had booked the last seat on the flight at the last minute.
“Thank you for your candid feedback. We are aware that you are a frequent traveler on Safarilink as your flights are always booked through various agents or by the Kisumu County office. We trust that your agents advise you of standard practice of airline fares which are based on several factors such as demand, peak travel days and time of booking,” Safarilink said in a statement.
They airline further clarified that the price for flights from Nairobi to Kisumu range from Sh 5,000 to Sh 19,000 adding that Governor Nyong’o’s flight was booked directly from their website on the evening before the flight and so his fare was based on the last seat available.
The company also stated that they had duties to their shareholders to file good returns, especially having dealt with a slump during the pandemic with no support from the government.
“Private airlines have to contend with multiple taxes and levies such as VAT on fuel, RDL on expensive spare parts, VAT on engine overhauls and the sliding Kenya shilling. On the same day, other airlines who are beneficiaries of Government support had higher fares so it is surprising that its only Safarilink that has been cited with what you term as ‘ripping off gullible passengers,” the statement further reads.
The management also appreciated the business they had done with Kisumu County as well as supporting the county with various sponsorships towards its projects.
“We in turn have supported Kisumu County in various ways… and you personally when we have held back flights when you were running late. It is unfortunate that such concessions are not recognized. Safarilink will continue supporting Kisumu County with regular flights and will always be ready to welcome you on board our services,” the airline said.